Viggo Mortensen turned down the opportunity to join Joaquin Phoenix's Joker. Directed by The Hangover helmer, Todd Phillips with a script he co-wrote with Scott Silver, the upcoming Warner Bros. comic book movie traces the origin story of one of the most iconic DC villains of all time. Set in the '80s, the film will tackle the Clown Prince of Crime's early days as a failed comedian, and may actually reveal the titular character's real name: Arthur Fleck.
With principal photography scheduled to begin next month, the casting sheet for Joker is slowly being filled out. Following separate news that Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, and Marc Maron have all boarded the project (all in still-unconfirmed roles), Alec Baldwin is the latest actor to join what is shaping up to be an impressive roster of talent. The 60-year-old actor will play Thomas Wayne, father of Bruce Wayne/Batman. But as it turns out, before Baldwin nabbed the part, Mortensen was previously courted for the role.
Following news of Baldwin's casting, industry insider, Jeff Sneider revealed on Twitter that the part was actually initially offered to Mortensen, who ultimately decided to pass on the opportunity. No additional information whatsoever was given as to why, but looking at people's comments online, most of them are dismayed over the fact that they won't be seeing the Lord of the Rings star in the part. Check out Sneider's original tweet below:
It's difficult to pinpoint what exactly Warner Bros. is looking for in terms of casting their new Thomas Wayne, but it's notable that both Baldwin and Mortensen are around the same age. And while that doesn't seem like a significant detail, it gives people the impression that Phillips is going for a middle-aged Wayne, possibly near the time he and his wife were gunned down in front of Bruce. It's important to note, however, that Joker is not expected to connect narratively with the established DCEU canon (hence, they have a different Thomas Wayne played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan), although previous rumors claim that it might actually be linked to Matt Reeves' The Batman standalone, which may center on a younger version of the DC hero.
Earlier reports claim that Thomas is expected to play a major part in the upcoming movie, but it's unclear how. One specific rumor suggests a crazy scenario where the older Wayne may have actually fathered an illegitimate child with a helper, and the kid eventually becomes the Joker. That means that instead of simply being arch-nemesis, there's a deeper connection between Batman and the Clown Prince of Crime as they turn out to be half-brothers. In terms of theories, this one's definitely going to be a controversial move on DC Films' part. Nevertheless, it's intriguing.
Source: Jeff Sneider
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Joker (2019) release date: Oct 04, 2019
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020